The minimalists of 1990s sported a clean streamlined look with simple tailoring and a neutral colour palette. Plain white cotton t-shirts became staple wardrobe pieces. The minimalist palette consisted of black, brown, olive green, beige, navy and white. Sheer and shiny fabrics featured strongly throughout minimalist collection to compensate for the lack of colour. The growth of female professionals boosted the demand for minimalism as women wanted strong corporate styles.
Meanwhile Grunge enthusiasts sported ripped jeans, threadbare flannel skirts, bobbly cardigans, converse trainers and Doc Marten boots. Courtney Love the girlfriend of Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain became a princess of grunge with her tattered dresses and ripped stockings. This redefined femininity of the 90s was brought to the catwalk by Marc Jacobs for Perry Ellis which gained him Womenswear Designer of the Year. The look was unkempt and laid back.
|Marc Jacobs for Perry Ellis|
Deconstruction brought about the use of synthetic materials such as paper and non-woven fabrics in clothing production. The process of production and techniques were left deliberately exposed such as linings and raw edges. Zips were placed in unusual places and garments were frayed in a dramatic decoding of construction methods. Deconstruction was a satirical take on the fashion 'trend' and aimed to break through the boundaries of style. Emphasis was placed on different components of garments rather than the finished look itself. Martin Margiela was the 'King of Deconstruction' showing his collections in cemeteries and fire stations. He made use of alternative materials such as bottle tops, plastics, coat hangers and broken porcelain. Rei Kawakubo was also a deconstruction genius working for Commes des Garcons. She played with form and silhouette creating pieces that were asymmetric, frayed, unfinished or crumpled. Fashion was being used as a tool of expression and designers wanted to challenge themselves technically.